Verizon Rebrands Itself for the Digital Age

July 22, 2010

I really like Verizon Wireless’ new brand positioning – which hones in on the importance of digital access to today’s customers.

For years now, Verizon has been focused on the strength of their network – and have established that as a perceived point of difference in the minds of customers. But the execution has been lagging.

“Can you hear me now?”, with its exclusive focus on dropped calls, doesn’t match an era when customers use their smartphones to access music, maps, social networks, work applications, and countless other digital experiences.  At the entrance to Penn Station, I’ve seen Verizon’s billboards for months, trying to point out the advantage of their network for these new, mobile-networked customers. But the ads have been boringly rational – focusing on functional benefits (giant coverage maps of the US) and telling you how you can download a song instead of waiting for a signal.

Verizon’s new slogan is “Rule the Air.”  (microsite here).

Ruletheair

I love how this takes network access and distills it into a powerful, compelling experience. Instead of focusing on the functional, it stresses what the experience of greater connectedness feels like for the customer – and wraps it up in a pithy and powerful phrase, “rule the air.”  (Dig that, Nike.)

The focus on the customer comes to life in the handsome and diverse faces of hypothetical Verizon customers, each proclaiming what “rule the air” means to them:

“I don’t just use signal. I wield it like a master.”
“I discover myself 140 characters at a time.”
“I don’t just consume media. I live off it.”
“My data stream is a tsunami of brilliance.”

I saw Verizon’s new billboard entering the Lincoln Tunnel from Jersey this weekend: “Be See. Be Heard. Be Published.”  Today’s networked customers want more than a phone call, they want to connect and express themselves.

Look out Ma Bell.

BY DAVID ROGERS

This post originally posted by David on the DavidRogers.biz blog at: http://www.davidrogers.biz

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